Two Men Charged With Selling Illegal Beer in Minnesota
Say you're a fan of a Wisconsin beer that's not available in Minnesota. Can you get in trouble if you bring it here to the Land of 10,000 Lakes?
Well, if you bring it here and try to SELL it at your bar, it turns out you can get in trouble. Big trouble. Like being-charged-with-a-felony trouble. Which is exactly what happened to this Minnesota bar owner and manager.
According to a KARE-11 story, both "Brandon Hlavka, 37, of St. Michael and David Lantos, 28, of Brooklyn Park, were charged on February 4 with a single felony of transporting alcohol into Minnesota for resale."
The two apparently really like the New Glarus Brewing Company's Spotted Cow beer, which isn't available here in Minnesota. The story says "The New Glarus Brewing Co. beer is not a licensed manufacturer in Minnesota and its beer cannot be sold in the state."
But, they apparently liked it so much, they went to Wisconsin and bought about 10 kegs of the brew, which they then sold on-tap at their bar in Maple Grove. And that's where things went south.
As the story explains, "The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division began an investigation after receiving a tip about the Maple Tavern and on April 13, two of its agents visited the bar, spotted the beer on tap and ordered it. They tested the beer and later, during a search warrant of the bar, recovered three Spotted Cow kegs on site."
(On a side note, I'd like to know the exact process involved when the agents "tested" the beer. "Gee, Phil-- this kinda tastes like Spotted Cow, but my 'tests' are inconclusive. Better order another one just to be sure!" Given my love-- and experience-- with many kinds of fermented malt beverages, being a certified 'beer tester'-- I mean, 'agent'-- for the MN Dept. Public Safety Alcohol and Gaming might be right up my alley!)
So now, both Hlavka and Lantos are in hot water for selling the cold brew here in the North Star State. They're due in court on March 2nd.